The photo above is a copy of a page in the Majdanek Museum guidebook; it shows the official Thank You postcard provided by the Nazis for the prisoners to send in acknowledgment of the receipt of a package. The text on the page reads: “Official postcard which a prisoner could send from the camp to his family or to the Polish Red Cross after receiving a parcel.” You can read about the Majdanek camp on my website here.
I am indebted to one of the regular readers of this blog who gave me the idea for my blog post today. In a comment on my blog yesterday, this reader gave a link to a video which shows a postcard sent from Auschwitz-Birkenau. Young people today might be surprised to learn that, even in a death camp, the Nazis required the prisoners to have good manners. Yes, you read that right — the prisoners at all the Nazi camps were required to send a Thank You postcard to the Red Cross or to civilians who sent packages to the camps.
The postcards were provided by the Nazis and mailed for the prisoners. Just because the prisoners were waiting to be gassed at Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau doesn’t mean that they were exempt from the rules of society and could get by with scarfing down food sent by their friends and relatives without sending a Thank you card.
When the Nazi War Criminals were put into camps, awaiting trial for their crimes, were they required to send a Thank You postcard to the Red Cross or the families who sent food? This is a trick question. The German war criminals were not allowed to receive Red Cross packages or food from civilians and they were not allowed to send letters or postcards.